Direct Action’s Spitfire Mk II: For Modularity and Comfort

The current Spitfire Mk II Plate Carrier system by Direct Action, is intended to give the end user a lightweight yet durable platform, with extensive reinforcement and utilitarian design. In conjunction with other Direct Action (DA) products, such as its battle belt system, the Spitfire Mk II is scalable and can accommodate a variety of roles in training, or the field.

Spitfire Mk II Plate Carrier

Intended to be a lightweight and durable plate carrier for training on the range or afar in the field, the Spitfire Mk II is an evolution from its predecessor, the Spitfire Plate Carrier. The Mk II brings together advanced materials, design, and reinforcement for a very durable, scalable piece of gear.

Made from a blend of 500D Cordura and lightweight laminate nylon, the Mk II front and rear carriers accommodate full-sized SAPI/ESAPI/AR500 plates or any soft armor (sold separately). Both the front and rear carriers also feature extensive hook-and-loop (female) panels for attaching a variety of accessories and/or identification panels or morale patches.

The front carrier also includes a zipper-secured admin pouch (with laser-cut MOLLE webbing slots on the exterior), as well as female slide-release buckles for chest rigs, magazine panels, or other associated Mayflower®/Velocity Systems compatible chest panels. Both sides also include elastic include comms/hydration cuffs for organization.

The rear of the MK II features an integrated drag handle and extensive hook-and-loop fields for securing any of the MK IIs four associated back panels. These interchangeable panels allow the wearer to choose which best supports mission needs. The MK II can be further expanded on mission use thanks to the rear carrier’s two back zippers that are compatible to Crye Precision’s AVS standard plate pouch set.

The interior backpanels of the Mk II are a tweave material with hook-and-loop (female) panels for Spitfire Comfort Pads (not included) if desired.

The Mk II cummerbund is of a minimalist design made from elastic bands that secure to the front and rear carriers through associated hook-and-loop (male) panels. User’s have the option to exchange these elastic bands with any of the other five Mk II compatible cummerbunds (sold separately) based on user preference or mission needs.

For shoulder straps, the Mk II has two laminate nylon bands directly anchored into the front carrier, with ABS plastic cinch buckles anchored into the rear carrier. Adjustment is done via the hook-and-loop segments, with an overlapping padded panel to provide comfort and prevent skin abrasion. The padded panels have additional elastic comms/hydration cuffs to keep things organized.

Specifications:

  • Size M:
    • Chest size up to 47”
    • Width: 10.5”
    • Height: 13.5”
  • Size L:
    • Chest size up to 51”
    • Width: 10.5”
    • Height: 15”
  • Size XL:
    • Chest size up to 55”
    • Width: 11.1”
    • Height: 17.05”

The Spitfire Mk II is available in a variety of colors to include; Multicam (featured), PenCott Badlands or GreenZone, Adaptive Green and many more.

Product Link: https://us.directactiongear.com/spitfire-mk-ii-plate-carrierr#AGR

Spitfire Mk II Rapid Adaptive Cummberbund

A scalable accessory to the Spitfire Mk II, the Rapid Adaptive Cummerbund (RAC) replaces the minimalist elastic band that comes with the plate carrier. The RAC adds innovative Rapid Open Connector (ROC) buckles at the front of the plate carrier for quick, silent donning and removal.

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The exterior of the RAC adds a field of laminate nylon with laser-cut MOLLE fields for mounting additional pouches or accessories, while the interior is made from elastic nylon for freedom of movement. The interior of the RAC also includes pockets for possible use with side plates (with mounting system sold separately) if desired.

The Spitfire RAC is available in a variety of colors to include; Multicam (featured), PenCott Badlands or GreenZone, Adaptive Green and many more.

Product Link: https://us.directactiongear.com/spitfire-mk-ii-rapid-access-cummerbundr#AGR

Spitfire Mk II Slick Carbine Mag Flap

Made from a variety of proprietary and elastic webbing, the Slick Carbine Mag Flap (SCMF) is intended to attach to the slide-release buckles and hook-and-loop panels of the Spitfire Mk II or Hellcat front carrier.

The SCMF is a minimalist, elastic panel that is divided into three segments and can accommodate full-sized AR/AK rifle magazines while keeping as low profile as possible.

The Spitfire Mag Flap is available in a variety of colors to include; Multicam (featured), PenCott Badlands or GreenZone, Adaptive Green and many more.

Product Link: https://us.directactiongear.com/spitfire-mk-ii-slick-carbine-mag-flapr#AGR

Spitfire Mk II MOLLE Panel

The MOLLE Panel (MP) for the Spitfire Mk II is one of several removable, scalable backpanels that mounts directly to the rear carrier of the plate carrier. The MP is made from proprietary laminate nylon and offers an extensive field of laser-cut MOLLE sections that the wearer can attach any associated pouches or panels to for custom mission needs. The top of the MP also includes a hook-and-loop (female) panel for attaching identification or morale patches. The interior of the MP features a pocket for a hydration bladder.

The MP secures to the Mk II using hook-and-loop panels and the rear carrier’s zipper system.

The Spitfire Mk II MOLLE Panel is available in a variety of colors to include; Multicam (featured), PenCott Badlands or GreenZone, Adaptive Green and many more.

Product Link: https://us.directactiongear.com/spitfire-mk-ii-molle-panelr#AGR

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): Made from a variety of components, the system evaluated included the following:
    • Spitfire Mk II………………………($239)
    • Mag Flap…………………………….($74.90)
    • Rapid Access Cummerbund…($114)
    • Spitfire Mk II MOLLE Panel…($99)

When evaluated for its cost, most of the evaluated Direct Action products feature the company’s lightweight laminate nylon, which also adds a high degree of abrasion resistance. In comparison, the Spitfire Mk II plate carrier has the most direct comparison to Cyre’s JPC ($241), the SMC Plate Carrier ($322) by Grey Ghost Gear, or the PLATEminus ($249) by Blue Force Gear. It should be noted that in some instances, such as with the SMC, that the cummerbund would be needed to make it a comparable product. In all, for its modularity and materials, the Spitfire Mk II and other associated accessories all are appropriate (or average) in terms of cost with respect to the overall market for similar products.

  • Comfort Good (4/5): For its comfort; the assembled plate carrier was rather lightweight (with plates added) and did not put too much pressure on the shoulders. There was hook-and-loop (female) sections along the inside of the shoulders, and front/back panels for additional padding (not included), but it would have been an added improvement to its comfort had the plate carrier come with it or the pads already be integrated. The adjustable cummerbund was easily adjusted for torso size, and allowed for a comfortable fit around the mid-section. The Mag Flap allowed for easy draw and retained the magazine well, although re-holstering the magazines was a little difficult as magazines would catch the edge of the material when driving home. User’s may want to consider using a kydex insert to resolve this issue, but Direct action way want to consider adding a band of material along the opening edge to help retain that opening to aid in holstering magazines.
  • DurabilityAverage (3/5): The majority of materials behind the Spitfire MkII and its evaluated components was dominantly laminate nylon, which is known to have an abrasion resistance greater than 1000D. Moreover, there was extensive bartack and X-pattern reinforcement stitching present at key stress points throughout the carrier, cummerbund, and magazine flap. The YKK zippers on the rear panel were likewise reinforced on the adjoining material that ensured positive hold. The hook-and-loop panels that provided for a majority of the inserts, joining connections, and adjustment features did hold up over multiple adjustments with only minimal fraying of material. One suggestion here would be to add a pull tab or plate riser to the flap securing the bottom of plates, and aid in opening and prolong the life of the material. Perhaps the only concern from a durability aspect comes from the minimal amount of laminate nylon on the front carrier that forms the connector to the shoulder straps (see inset below). There is only a single layer between the two, and this will be an area of extreme stress or tension – something that will also incur great wear over the longer duration and could risk compromising the carrier. Direct Action may want to consider adding more reinforcement in this key area for future designs and in doing so would improve the overall score. Furthermore, when contacted Direct Action maintained that while the Mk II had been in production for some time, it was tested extensively by Special Operations, and this had never been a reported issue. Another suggestion would be to add a pull tab to the flap securing the bottom of plates and aid in opening and prolong the life of the material.
  • Functionality Excellent (5/5): From its base, the Spitfire Mk II is a modular plate carrier that allowed the user to customize its configuration as needed. It had good adaptability with the associated Mag Flap or other similar Direct Action chest rig placards. The slide-release buckles and hook-and-loop (female) field also enabled the carrier to be compatible with a variety of other manufacturer chest rigs, such as Haley Strategic or Spiritus Systems. Other panels or similar accessories are available from Direct Action to expand further on the Spitfire’s modularity. The inclusion of the YKK-zippered back panels grows the plate carrier further; and is not only compatible with a variety of Direct Action panels, but any Crye-zipper compatible panel. So as a base plate carrier the Spitfire Mk II had a lot of room to grow based on the user’s needs. Even the cummerbund was easily interchanged between the minimalist side straps that came with the carrier, with the Rapid Access Cummerbund thanks in part to readily accessible pass-through slots. Thus, it was evident a lot of forethought went into developing the Spitfire Mk II.
  • Weight Good (4/5): The weight of each component for the plate carrier varied based on its intent, but overall were relatively lightweight thanks in part to the laminate nylon used throughout each. For instance, each component weights approximately:
    • Spitfire Mk II (between 1.37 and 1.50 pounds size dependent)
    • Mag Flap (0.218 pounds)
    • Spitfire Mk II Rapid Adaptive Cummerbund (0.533 pounds)
    • Spitfire Mk II MOLLE Panel (0.516 pounds).

In comparison to other similar products on the current market using the same lightweight materials, the Spitfire MK II would be most similar to Cyre’s JPC (approx. 1 pounds based on size). But when combined with the Adaptive Cummerbund, then the Mk II would be closest to the SMC (1.5 pounds based on size) by Grey Ghost Gear. All quality competitors to the Direct Action Spitfire Mk II. Still, these lightweight carriers are all a far cry away from more traditional plate carriers using traditional nylon or Cordura that can weigh as much as five pounds for the carrier alone (more when soked with water or sweat). So, the new plate carrier by Direct Action was within the average weight for similar good-performing carriers noted. Likewise, so too was the Mag Flap or MOLLE Panel well within the average weight for its chosen material.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://us.directactiongear.com

IMG_2889_TackenbergI am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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